Ritesh Agarwal lives in India and is the boss of his own company worth $5 billion, yet he is only 24-years-old.
A great many of you reading this have likely used hotel comparison and aggregation websites on multiple occasions. Companies such as Trivago and Hotels.com that let you compare prices of places all in one place. What you're risking with that method, especially in certain countries, is sacrificing quality for a cheap deal.
That isn't the case with Oyo, an Indian hotel chain owned by Ritesh Agarwal. Despite only really getting the wheels in motion for his idea in 2013, the startup is already worth a massive $5 billion and has more than 10,000 locations across 160 different Indian cities, according to Business Standard. In fact, the chain is now becoming so large that it is starting to expand into China and even as far afield as the UK.
What exactly was Mr. Agarwal's big idea we hear you ask? Well, rather than just gather a variety of hotels' details and shove them on a site, he wanted to make sure those establishments were of a certain quality. Having traveled India himself as a child and a young man, he knew first hand how poor some of the hotels in his native country can be, something you often don't realize until you arrive there.
Oyo does this by employing hundreds of people to go out and evaluate properties, an evaluation that is based on 200 factors. If an establishment wants to become a part of the ever-growing Oyo empire they must agree to a couple of things. Firstly, a makeover so that it fits Oyo's high standards. That takes around a month and in return, Oyo is entitled to 25% of the hotel's bookings there on in.
It is that business model which has turned Mr. Agarwal into a 24-year-old billionaire in the space of five years. It may seem like something incredibly simple, but some of the best ideas often are. One of those things where you say to yourself "well I could have thought of that," but this young entrepreneur actually acted on it. Expect to see Oyo hotels popping up in your neighborhood sometime soon, especially if you're reading this from the UK.